New DWC Regs Move Forward
Further implementing last year's workers' compensation reforms, the Division of Workers' Compensation is conducting public hearings on six sets of proposed new regulations. The hearings were set for June 21 in San Francisco, June 29 in Los Angeles.
Proposed regulations add and revise regulations in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations. Most of the proposed changes implement or clarify aspects of the workers' compensation reforms:
- Managed care.Last year's reform introduced managed care to workers' compensation, allowing employers to contract with health care organizations for providing medical treatment to injured workers. Two proposed regulations clarify information employers must give employees regarding their options and an enrollment form for employees.
- Permanent disability rating determinations. The proposed regulations would streamline the disability evaluation process by reducing documentation which must be provided to the Disability Evaluation Unit for obtaining a summary rating determination. A new form has been proposed to request the rating of the primary treating physician.
- 24-hour coverage pilot project. Regulations propose extending the termination date of approved pilots from December 31, 1996 to December 31, 1997.
- Vocational rehabilitation notices. Proposed regulations are revisions and additions to the benefit notices received by injured workers concerning vocational rehabilitation services.
- Vocational rehabilitation services. Draft regulations propose clarification to the procedures and fee schedule for vocational rehabilitation services. They include the full text and format of Help in Returning to Work-'94, which explains vocational rehabilitation benefits for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 1994.
- Official Medical Fee Schedule. Proposals concern technical changes to the Official Medical Fee Schedule regulations and several revisions to the fee schedule.
For further information or copies of the proposed regulations, please call the Division of Workers' Compensation at (415) 703-3731 or write to DWC at P.O. Box 420603, San Francisco,